News Article

Sumo Digital: Wii U "Looks As Good" as HD Platforms

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Shares thoughts on GPU and memory

Sumo Digital is the developer of upcoming multi-platform racer Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, a title set to hit later this year on both Wii U and 3DS. Just one week ago comments from a representative of publisher SEGA, related to this title, described the graphical capabilities of Wii U as on par or potentially better than rival systems such as PS3 — though the source quotes did need some clarification after initial publication.

To ease any doubt about the perception of Wii U's graphical capabilities in relation to Sonic's latest, executive producer Steve Lycett has clarified during an interview with Official Nintendo Magazine. Below is what he said about the GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) and system memory within the developer's kit.

There are always surprises and unexpected challenges when you develop on a new console. When we first got our hands on the kit, the first surprise was the capability of the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). We'd been worried that we might need to re-engineer all the effects and shaders in the game, but they worked just fine.

The Wii U looks as good as any of the HD platforms. The Wii U has way more memory, so we can take advantage of that with less compression on elements and textures, so it will look all lovely and shiny.

While Nintendo is typically tight-lipped about technical specifications, and we have a general idea that Wii U's graphical grunt may not necessarily be a substantial leap over its competitors, it's encouraging to hear that some of the tools available are proving useful to developers.


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User Comments (40)



Scollurio said:

At the end of the day I don't think its about "how good Wii U games will look on the end-consumers-TV set" too much and more about how easily developes can (down)scale ports from other systems to bring them to Wii U, Full HD does look good. Fact. If all Wii U games are Full HD I think most people will be satisfied, if the general power of the system is enough to make it easy to bring over ports, so what if competing systems have x3 the pixels or not, won't matter too much unless you're sitting 10 cm in front of a 50" display.



Monsti said:

@Scollurio I fully agree. When some game for the PS 4 or whatever comes out in 2 years I don't need to have a perfect looking port, but it should be possible...I don't believe it yet but it would ne nice.



PeterW77 said:

As nice as pretty looking graphics are, all I need from the Wii U is a good selection of first and third party games that are enjoyable to play. My motto is "Graphics alone do not a game make."



XyVoX said:

Fact is lovely graphics can and do help a game punch above its weight in the right circumstances. For me the important thing is that its now in HD and has HDMI that alone is enough.



Samholy said:

graphics sometime makes a game these days.
Uncharted series was breathtaking, but the gameplay itself was rather simplistic.
i wouldnt have played it if it wasnt of the insane amount of WOW i kept saying while playing.

skyrim also had that breathtaking graphic engine. gameplay is the same since morrowind, so im good with that. having high quality graphics mixed with deep gameplay mechanics really makes a memorable combo.



Incognito_D said:

it's totally missing the point though, in my opinion.
The Wii U darn-well SHOULD look just as good as the PS3/ 360 - they're 7 year-old technology!!!
We all know what's going to happen: New iterations of the PS and Xbox will be released within a couple of years and Nintendo will be left behind again.
Sorry to be negative, but all these "Wii U looks just as good as PS3" news reports irk me!



Savino said:

It will not be the wii of the next gen.... Believe me, the world hasnt enou money to throw out in expensives consoles, vita and 3ds are proof of that. They will be more powerfull than wii u, but not too much, no like ps3 is more powerfull than wii.



MrWalkieTalkie said:

I got the first one on XBOX just so I can play as Banjo-Kazooie. And I dont even like XBOX! XD But Im definately getting this one for Wii U!



DreamOn said:

As long as its an improvement over Wii Nintendo expects us to all get on the train again for thier games - not other dev's games that's just bonus in thier minds if they do things the Nintendo way. I'm fine with it just like I'm ok with the resolution of the 3DS XL compared to the Vita's.



TrueWiiMaster said:

Oy vey. SEGA said Sonic and All Star Racing Transformed looked at least as good on the Wii U as it did on the PS3. They never mentioned the Wii U's capabilities. The original source for the quote, Eurogamer, updated their article specifically saying,

"We've updated the headline of this article to better reflect the content of the story. Sega was referring to the visuals of Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed on Wii U compared to the visuals of the other versions, not the graphics capabilities of the Wii U itself. Sorry for the confusion this has caused."

And that's a direct quote, copied and pasted from the article linked to by the NintendoLife article, which quoted it as saying the opposite.



Wheels2050 said:

@Scollurio: That's a big 'if'. I really hope for Nintendo's sake they've future-proofed the Wii U enough that it can keep pace with the next PS and XBox - it doesn't necessarily have to be as good as them, but close enough that a Wii U port doesn't require intense reprogramming. If the latter ends up being the case Nintendo will be back to the position they were in with the Wii - either ports don't happen because they're too much effort, or the Wii U ends up with a shoddy, half-hearted effort that's probably not worth playing.

"Graphics alone do not a game make," sure, but an underpowered console can mean NO games.



antdickens said:

Current HD gen consoles still look great, so if Wii U is graphically even slightly better than those we'll do just fine.



Wheels2050 said:

@antdickens: I'm not worried about the absolute graphical power of the Wii U. I'm saying that if the Wii U's capabilities aren't comparable to those of the next XBox and PS consoles, then multiplatform games will likely simply skip the Wii U.

I'm worried about the power of the Wii U in a relative, not objective, sense.



ajcismo said:

This topic is never going to die no matter how much it should. And will be back again with each new console that is born much to many a chagrin.



hYdeks said:

from everything that I know about the Wii U, it's exactly as he saids, it's basicly lil better than PS3, and really is that a bad thing? The update from Wii to Wii U is a dramatic one, and gets Nintendo fans into the hd business. Plus, remember, Nintendo can do WONDERS with barely anything. Here's hoping that 3rd party start to learn to have an imagination again, too.



Metal_Slugger said:

I will be just happy with Nintendo in HD. I own a PS3 and I am far from 'wowed" by the graphics. I agree with hydeks Nintendo can do wonders with barely anything..



KrazyBean said:

@Incognito_D: I do have to agree here...but hey, Nintendo is FINALLY in the HD zone, so that should count for something.

I don't mean to sound like a Sony or Microsoft 'fanboy' but the people who are waiting for raw graphical power to arrive on a console will be better of waiting for the PS4 and the Xbox 720.

Current gen consoles still look great for 7 year-old tech anyway...the Wii U is slightly more powerful that current gen consoles, so that's A-OK in my eyes.



rjejr said:

They're trying to get a multiplatform game ready on all systems at the same time, so it looking like the PS3 and Xbox360 versions makes sense. The question will be how much hardware is left to improve with future games. 2nd and 3rd gen games usually look significantly better than launch titles. You can't accurately predict future graphics from a rushed multiplatform launch title.



grimbldoo said:

No offense to any commenter, but I am getting tired of the word "slightly." It's been six years people, the Wii U should be at least two times as powerful, the weakest gaming computer you can get this year is over two times as powerful as the 720 and PS3.



EvansLegends said:

Frankly, I think it's not too shabby if the Wii U is doing graphics like this in its infancy. Imagine what's down the road.



SirSmugleaf said:

Well that's good because i'm sick of (or annoyed about) developers saying that the graphics aren't as good on the wii u as the 360 & PS3, because that simply can't be true!



arrmixer said:

and the conversation continues.....

personally if nintendo sells the Wii U at a profit from its inception then 2 to 3 years down the line they can come out with an updated version that is "slightly powerful or just as powerful" as the so-called next gen with 4k resolution consoles....
I don't know how that will affect development of games for original adopters but this could be a possibility..



Henmii said:

I still have my doubts about the Wii u power. Sure the Japanese garden demo and Zelda demo looked awesome, but better then PS3? I don't know! Rayman legends looks fantastic but again: Isn't this also possible on Xbox360 or PS3?

Personally I still think that the Xbox720 and PS4 will blow it out of the water! Let's face it guys: Nintendo has again taken liberties on the graphics side! Batman: Arkham asylum looks worse then on Xbox360/PS3, wich is unforgivable! I also find it very suspicious that we yet have to see Wii u footage of Darksiders 2 and Mass effect 3! Will these look worse too!

Of course I will end up with a Wii u someday (Rayman looks awesome), but it won't be a gigantic powerhouse!!



Mandoble said:

The problem is that WiiU will match the other consoles, not only 7 years later, but also hundreds of games later too.



DrSlump said:

"as good as any of the HD platforms".. this sounds to me as "no Full-HD" and "the same power of the actual gen consoles"... with some years delay. In other way, it's possible that, with the incoming of the next gen consoles, we'll have to buy another console to enjoy multiplatform games.



DrSlump said:

@hydeks Yes nintendo can do a lot of things, like another mario, another zelda, another wii party or mario party etc.. That's ok but, as sony and microsoft does, apart from the exclusive titles, they should offer multiplaftorm games too like, for example, the exceptional mass effect trilogy, to enjoy which i had to buy a ps3. Why should i buy wii u if i know that, apart from exclusive titles (super mario bros "n") i'll find the same titles i could buy for a ps3 system? Sorry, but i can't see innovation in nintendo's titles, zelda and mario gameplay is great, but i think this is the right time to risk and invent something really new.



DrSlump said:

@Henmii It's opinion to me that graphics power is the same of the actual gen consoles. In other words, if you got a ps3, there is no reason to buy a wii u. May be a new zelda or metroid prime would raise my hype, but "new super mario bros U" isn't enough.. wathever new trick they added to the gameplay.



DrSlump said:

@antdickens The problem is with the next gen consoles: new multiplatform titles will not be published on wii u if it'll not have enought power to support them.



Araknie said:

Seems like another easy to program, without cutting out power, platform like the SNES.
Way to go, Nintendo!



Hokori said:

Maybe the WiiU is a major leap from PS360 but 3rd parties are just being lazy by porting those versions over in the mean time, but when exclusives, and PS4/720 get released they'll show there true power.... Just a thought



aaronsullivan said:

Easy porting of shaders is key. The Wii's approach was proprietary enough that it was mostly first party games like Mario Galaxy that took advantage. This bit is the best solid news I've heard about future of 3rd party games on the Wii U. Good.

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